Born in Cologne, Germany, Kai Franz lives and works in Providence. His practice could be described as a kind of Arte Povera à la Digitalis. He received undergraduate degrees in architecture from RWTH Aachen and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, ETH Zurich and earned an MArch from Princeton University in 2012.
Parallel to his studies in architecture, Franz developed an interest in computer science and investigated its integration into the architectural design process in RISD’s graduate Digital + Media program. He has worked as a researcher for the Chair of Information Architecture at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and in the Rotterdam and NYC Offices of Metropolitan Architecture. He was nominated for a Fulbright in 2009, awarded the KPF Traveling Fellowship in 2011 and was artist in residence at the Akademie Schloss Solitude, Germany in 2013–14. Since 2007 Franz has taught fine arts and architecture at ETH Zurich, Princeton, McGill University and RISD.
Franz’s work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions in the US and Germany. Recent projects include Plopper (Dual-Axis Precision Deposition System) and Pixilerations v.9. In September 2014 Edition Solitude published Serial Nature, a book that critically reflects on Kai Franz’s practice and includes contributions from practitioners, theorists and historians from the disciplines of art, architecture, media theory and philosophy. The publication coincided with a solo exhibition at the Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart, Germany.